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Digital Disciple: Real Christianity in a Virtual World (edition 2011)

by Adam Thomas

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264415,071 (3.25)2
Member:pamjw
Title:Digital Disciple: Real Christianity in a Virtual World
Authors:Adam Thomas
Info:Abingdon Press (2011), Paperback, 144 pages
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Digital Disciple: Real Christianity in a Virtual World by Rev Adam Thomas

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I read this book to update my reading on the church and the internet, which I wrote my dissertation on in 1999.

There is plenty of food for thought, about "good" use, though Adam focuses more on the internet than on social media, which is the more social aspect of the interwebs and might negate some of the issues with isolation.

I didn't agree with everything in this book, but we are a different generation and a different life place - and there is nothing wrong with a book you don't agree with - it makes you think! ( )
  pamjw | Nov 6, 2012 |
NCLA Review - Adam Thomas, a newly-minted Episcopal priest not yet thirty years old, is amazing. He explains the language of our Internet-permeated world without condescension to those of us afloat. Well aware of the great potential in communication technology, he also warns of the danger. Scriptural references abound, and “old” values surface in these pages. Thomas stresses the urgent need to withdraw periodically from the lure of the cyber world to seek God’s presence, whether that involves turning off the cell phone for a few hours or breaking off a growing addiction to a video game. In our mentally-cluttered world of online dating and serial deaths in video games, he notes, it’s easy—but can be spiritually disastrous—to get divorced from the reality of flesh. A witty survey and meaty questions for reflection conclude this wise guide to this present world. It’s a terrific book that speaks to people of all ages. Rating: 4 —DKW ( )
  ncla | Oct 7, 2011 |
Reverend Adam Thomas was one of the first in the Millennial generation to be ordained to the Episcopal priesthood. He writes a daily online devotional, devotiONEighty, and publishes a blog entitled WhereTheWind. Through these and other outlets, he maintains a voice in the virtual world on the need for and challenges of being authentic disciples of Jesus Christ in both the real world and in the digital environment. Thomas identifies both connection and communion as foundational to the Christian experience. He cautions that the virtual environment can provide the unaware with a false sense of intimacy. He distinguishes this from the Biblical concept of relationship and communion taught by Jesus during His earthly ministry. Thomas teaches how to move from superficial connection to authentic communion. He provides practical guidance in the real-world spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, Bible study and sacrificial living.

In addition to promoting the opportunities the internet provides for spiritual connection, Thomas cautions his readers to stay vigilant against some of the dangers inherent in the virtual world. For example, the knowledge-base online is virtually unlimited. There is a danger in relying on the ease of using internet search engines for knowledge-seeking in lieu of relying on memory and of personally developing and using critical thinking skills. With lack of practice, an individual’s mental capacity for learning, understanding and critical thinking can be diminished. In speaking to digital disciples, Thomas expresses concern that an increased reliance on the wealth of online spiritual resources can result in the decline of time spent practicing spiritual disciplines offline. Rather than hiding scripture in one’s heart, individuals are choosing to outsource that function to keyword searching on the internet. Rather than actually praying, the internet offers literally millions of pages to read about prayer. These practices can result in the decline of an individual’s personal communion with God.

In Digital Disciple, Thomas brings that discourse to a book format. His writing is casual, his tone conversational, and his personality engaging. Yes, he expressly identifies himself as one of the youngest Episcopal priests but you will find no air of superiority or condescension. It is only given to validate his unique perspective on the subject matter. His intent in writing is to engage the local church body in an exchange of ideas on discipleship and what that might look like in today’s world. Rev. Thomas broadens his audience via footnotes where he clarifies and defines colloquial terms that may not be familiar to older readers who are interested in reaching out to today’s youth. His message is valid for the Church today. The topics discussed in Digital Disciple hold potential for small group discussions at the local level as well as for breakout sessions at youth pastor conferences.

http://www.devo180.com
http://wherethewind.com

I requested and received a galley of this title from NetGalley but made no commitment to write a review. ( )
  gladeslibrarian | May 6, 2011 |
I expected to like this book much more than I did. The author is an Episcopalian priest. He identifies himself as a member of the Millennial generation, and unfortunately the writing is so geared toward the Millennial generation or to those younger that it was difficult to follow his thoughts. Even though I am quite familiar with Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media, I could not identify with metaphors he used from World of Warcraft and other computer games as I had never played them. The copy that I read was an advance Kindle-version e-galley provided through NetGalley. There were serious problems with the formatting that marred my reading enjoyment. It appears that they used OCR to convert the book. Drop caps were letters that were a line above the second letter of the word in opening chapters. Footnotes appeared exactly following the word where they appeared at the bottom of the page. This means that every time I got to footnotes that I had to skip one or more of them and locate the line where the rest of the sentence continued. Sometimes it was difficult to tell that you were beginning the text of the footnote or to identify where a footnote ended and the top of the next page began. I sincerely hope that the publisher will convert the text to utilize endnotes (either at the end of the book or at the end of the chapter) in the final Kindle version. I've always been a fan of footnotes in print publications, but after reading this book, I will admit that they don't work in the MOBI format. ( )
  thornton37814 | Apr 18, 2011 |
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This time in our society is unlike any other. People communicate daily without ever having to speak face to face, news breaks around the world in a matter of seconds, and favorite TV shows can be viewed at our convenience. We are, simultaneously, a people of connection and isolation. As Christians, how do we view our faith and personal ministry in this culture? 

Adam Thomas invites you to explore this question using his unique, personal, and often humorous insight. Thomas notes, "[The Internet] has added a new dimension to our lives; we are physical, emotional, spiritual, and now virtual people. But I believe that God continues to move through every facet of our existence, and that makes us new kinds of followers. We are digital disciples."

This DVD will feature videos for each chapter at three to five minutes in length - perfect for small group use. Six sessions.
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